Watching Aleksandr Petrov's stunningly beautiful animation of 'The Old Man and the Sea' online undoubtedly can't begin to compare with seeing it on an Imax screen, for which the film was originally created. Anyway, as chances are probably small your local Imax will show this kind of thing, by all means make do with watching the film here.
Adapted from Ernest Hemingway's classic novella, 'The Old Man and the Sea' recounts the epic struggle of an old Cuban fisherman to catch one more great fish, to prove himself once more against the overwhelming forces of nature. The book represents Hemingway's deceptively simple style at its most mythical. No post-war, world-weary Americans sipping their drinks in Spain or the Riviera, but a timeless story of man against nature - or rather, man in nature. A sense of humility and an almost religious awe of nature suffuse the story, in which the old man seems to be just one more creature living out his destiny.
Out on the sea in his little boat, waiting long hours for his fish to make a move, the old man remembers his youthful days when he was called the Champion. And he muses on his present quest:
Man is not much beside the great birds and beasts. Though they are not as intelligent as we who kill them, they are more noble, and more able. I would rather be that beast down there, in the darkness of the sea. The fish is my brother, but I must kill him.
Petrov's animation, which won the Oscar for best short animation in 1999, as well as a host of other prizes, succeeds brilliantly in visualizing the mythical, and often magical atmosphere of the story. Painstakingly animated using a rare technique of oil painting on glass, every frame of the film is a rich painting in itself, with equal attention devoted to foreground and background, action and scenery (a rare quality in modern animation!).
Would be awesome indeed to see this in its proper splendor sometime.